Bodybuilder Snaps Neck and Dies During Missed Backflip Attempt

By Colin Fredericson

A bodybuilder died on Aug. 5 after attempting a backflip at a competition in South Africa.

Twenty-three-year-old Sifiso Lungelo Thabethe landed on his head, breaking his neck, as he attempted the stunt in front of judges and the audience at a contest.

Coming out in tight black briefs and socks to match, Thabethe attempted to pump up the crowd with a lively entrance. He ran forward and sprung up into what appears to be a backward somersault, which he often used as a signature move, reported News 24. The flip, however, was off target, making it fatal.

People at the competition tried to help him up, but he didn’t move.

“He was rushed to hospital where he died on arrival,” said police spokesperson Colonel Thembeka Mbhele via News 24.

International Federation of Bodybuilding South Africa’s National Executive President Wayne Price told News 24 that it may have been due to his socks.

“We suspect, because he was wearing socks this time, that he slipped or didn’t get enough momentum and landed horribly on his head,” he said.

A graphic video of the incident is circulating on internet channels. Thabethe’s family prefers it not be shared. Price also thinks it is not appropriate. “We’re aware of a video of the incident circulating on social media, as is Sifiso’s family, and they’re understandably very upset about that,” said Price, via News 24.

Thabethe was an International Federation of Bodybuilding junior world champion in the up to 75 kilogram (165 pound) category. Muscle Evolution magazine honored his passing.

“Described by many as a young man with a bright future Sifiso’s passing is a huge loss to the sport,” states the magazine. Muscle Evolution said that at Thabethe’s last competition before the accident “he impressed the crowd and the judges with unbelievable muscle size and maturity beyond his age.”

Thabethe’s social media accounts are full of photos of his bodybuilding accomplishments. He depicts his journey through the sport of bodybuilding. He has many photos showing off his impressive form, as well as those of his well-built friends.

Renzo Gracie, of the famous Brazilian martial arts family that birthed the mixed martial arts movement, tweeted out the video of the deadly incident via his Twitter account accompanied with the caption.

“A little reminder… Your Brain has no muscles to protect it.. Keep your head safe all the time. Avoid getting hit on your thinking machine.” He tweeted out the message in both English and in his native Portuguese.

 

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Walking Dead’ Voice Actor Dies in Freak Skydiving Accident

A longtime voice actor, best known for his work on “The Walking Dead,” died July 8, in a skydiving accident, reports say.

Randy Schell, who is behind the promos for the hugely popular AMC series, is a licensed and experienced skydiver, KHOU-TV reported. He collided with another jumper mid-air after they both deployed parachutes, leaving his parachute collapsed.

Randy Schell (Facebook)
Randy Schell (Facebook)

The accident occurred at Skydive Spaceland in Houston. Both Schell and another jumper had completed successful dives earlier in the day.

Schell has done voice work for hundreds of commercials and shows. He’s also lent his voice to Coca-Cola, 20th Century Fox, Geico, McDonald’s, Nike, and others, his website states.

“He had a golden voice, he knew what to do with it,” Schell’s agent, Jenny Bosby, said. “He was a constant professional. Everyone loved working with him. He was also a brilliant producer and engineer.”

Skydive Spaceland issued a statement on the death.

It read: “Both jumpers had made at least one successful skydive earlier that day, had hundreds or thousands of skydives each, and were jumping their own parachute systems. Both jumpers deployed their parachutes normally and collided afterward. They sustained injuries in the collision and/or on landing, and one did not survive. Weather was not a factor,” as reported by Deadline Hollywood.

 
 
 
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